When I grade my students’ paper proposals, I make a point of doing a brief Google Scholar search for each student’s proposal, which a) helps me evaluate how thorough they have been; b) helps me help them find additional material (I then give them the sources I found, but also the keywords I used to find them). One of my students in my introductory linguistic anthropology course this term is doing a paper on linguistic aspects of laughter and humor. During my search, I encountered the following citation (direct from Google Scholar to you):
Ig Nobel Prize winner Dan Ariely and colleagues have a new study about lying: “The Brain Adapts to Dishonesty,” by Neil Garrett, Stephanie Lazzaro, Dan Ariely, and Tali Sharot, published in Nature Neuroscience.
A news report in Scientific American sums it up: “The team’s findings, published today in Nature Neuroscience, confirm in a laboratory setting that dishonesty grows with repetition. The researchers also used brain imaging to reveal a neural mechanism that may help explain why.”
Co-author Garrett describes what the team did and found, in this video:
2016 Ig Nobel Psychology Prize — Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers. [“From Junior to Senior Pinocchio: A Cross-Sectional Lifespan Investigation of Deception,” Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon D. Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, Acta Psychologica, vol. 160, 2015, pp. 58-68.]
“There is a growing chorus of critics who complain that many of the top-ranked professional tennis players who grunt when they hit the ball gain an unfair advantage because the sound of the grunt interferes with their opponent’s game.
Our data suggest that a grunting player has a competitive edge on the professional tennis tour.“
Although the global tennis authorities don’t (as far as Improbable can ascertain) have any specific rules relating to the distractions of grunting, some local associations have crafted their own code of conduct. See for example rule 36 of the Newbury and District Lawn Tennis Association, UK [.doc format]
“36. Grunting. A player should avoid grunting and making other loud noises. Grunting and other loud noises may bother not only opponents but also players on adjacent courts. In an extreme case, an opponent or a player on an adjacent court may seek the assistance of the Referee or a Roving Umpire. The Referee or official may treat grunting and the making of loud noises as a hindrance. Depending upon the circumstance, this could result in a let or loss of point. “
This concludes our short Improbable series on how to ‘cheat’ at sport without really ‘cheating’.
Bonus assignment [optional]: In which (if any) of the following competitive sports/games should grunting be banned? [give reasons].
That’s just one nugget from the Wikipedia biography of “Doctor” John R. Brinkley, who lived a colorful life. Implanting goat testicles into strangers was not the half, or even fifth of it. Well, maybe the fifth of it.
“Background: In genetics it is customary to refer to double-stranded DNA as containing a ‘Watson strand’ and a ‘Crick strand.’ However, there seems to be no consensus in the literature on the exact meaning of these two terms, and the many usages contradict one another as well as the original deﬁnition. Here, we review the history of the terminology and suggest retaining a single sense that is currently the most useful and consistent.”
Here’s detail from the study:
BONUS: Here’s a short video documentary about Watson and Crick and their strands. The documentary is most notable from the apparently near-death qualities evident in the narrator’s voice: